Lafaage Tarmac’s Dr Bill gives three cheers for competitions
The weather is beginning to improve and the days are getting longer, maximising the opportunities for builders to crack on with construction. Perhaps the unexpected clarity of the election result will also act kick start more work? Only time will tell!
Merchants are well aware of increasing demand, but how to you get more tradesmen to purchase their materials and equipment from you, rather than go elsewhere? How do you stand out? Promotions and competitions are widespread in the retail sector and are one potential tool for attracting interest in the building materials industry.
Work closely with key manufacturers and suppliers on promotions and competitions. This helps merchants to increase footfall and encourages loyalty from builders and tradesmen to purchase quality products from their local merchants.
At the risk of seeming a bit parochial, Lafarge Tarmac has recently launched such a competition enabling tradesmen to win a ‘VIP’ experience (such as a hospitality package at a sporting event) by purchasing certain products. Staff from participating merchants will also get the chance to share in the experience. As they say on TV, ‘Other promotions are available’.
Stocking brands with clean and distinctive packaging is also a positive factor in attracting customers. Cement might be grey and dusty, but the packaging doesn’t have to be. There is a move towards using colour coding on packaging to provide easy identification of project-specific products.
There is always a delicate balance between stocking a wide range of targeted products versus a more limited number of ‘General Purpose’ one size fits all products, but perhaps the balance is beginning to favour the specific (project related) rather than the generic.
Cooperation with manufacturers and supplies offers the potential to tap into these initiatives in such a way as to turn them to your advantage. Give it a try!!!
Dr Bill Price is National Commercial Technical Manager at Lafarge Tarmac’s Cement business